The fracturing of the Palestinian national movement since Yasser Arafat’s death has invited competing outside players with their own agendas into the Palestinian equation. Today, Arafat’s heirs are engaged in a thankless struggle to claim his legacy.
Qatar’s recent cabinet reshuffle marks the latest step in the tiny emirate’s shift away from its high-profile regional activities under former emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, to the more discreet role of his son and current emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Saudi Arabia has come under intense scrutiny in recent months. Much of it centers on its more assertive and less accommodating foreign policy, as manifested in its unprecedented military campaign in Yemen.
Gonul Tol, director of MEI's Center for Turkish Studies, delivered the following testimony at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats on February 3, 2016.
This essay explores the complexity of the change process to civilianize Myanmar. It demonstrates that the new Myanmar leadership’s intent to enter into a social contract with its citizens requires an analysis of the mechanisms of social control, which is the evolution of the means of power rather than its nature. The essay shows how the model of totalitarian normality has functioned in practice in Myanmar for over five decades marked by ongoing ethnic conflicts, sectarian violence and ruthless repression of civil society.
After over two years of intense negotiations, Iran was finally able to secure a clean bill of health from the IAEA in January, allowing the Rouhani government to build momentum for reforms in Iran's foreign policy and domestic politics. But making progress, especially on the latter front, will be much harder for Rouhani than reaching a nuclear agreement.
This essay tracks the origins of the Sunni-Shiite divide which, in the case of Lebanon, lay dormant until the creation of its modern day political structure. It argues that the country’s sectarian tensions mounted as a result of the installation of an Islamic republic in Iran, and the establishment of Hezbollah as an instrument in the pursuit of leading power status in the Middle East.